CNN slammed for soft questions during Biden town hall: 'The media is broken'

CNN came under criticism from the right and the left for the questions posed to Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE at a town hall Thursday night, with many arguing he wasn't challenged in the same way President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE was at a similar event this week hosted by ABC News.

The "drive-in town hall" event, which took place just outside Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pa., was moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

To kick off questions, Cooper said: "Mr. Vice President, President Trump has said that he downplayed the coronavirus because he didn't want to cause panic. If you were president, could you see a scenario where you downplayed critical information so as not to cause panic?"

ADVERTISEMENT

At another point, Cooper asked: "Mr. Vice President, Bob Woodward asked President Trump about white privilege and whether or not he benefited from it. And the president said, 'No, I don't feel that way at all' and sort of mocked Bob Woodward. Do you see ways you have benefited from white privilege?"

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump also mocked CNN, a network he has consistently criticized.

“He’s up there tonight getting softball questions from Anderson Cooper. They don’t ask me questions like that,” Trump told his supporters at a Wisconsin rally that was being held at the same time as the Biden event.

ADVERTISEMENT

Even the audience portion of the town hall drew criticism. Of the 16 questions asked by audience members, only three were from Republicans, with the rest coming from Democrats.

TV ratings for Thursday night's town hall will be available Friday afternoon.

Biden and Trump are set to square off for the first presidential debate on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, where Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will serve as moderator.